Editorial Roundup: Always find a way to support what matters

Published 8:50 pm Friday, October 8, 2021

The news came Friday that three Central Minnesota arts organizations will be requiring audiences to not only mask up, but prove their vaccination status or provide a recent negative COVID-19 test (within 72 hours of the event).

Certainly, many patrons of the Paramount Center for the Arts, the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University Fine Arts Series and the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra will welcome the move as a gesture of care for the people who support their programs by buying tickets.

Other patrons, to be sure, will not welcome it. Some will stand on their conviction that such requirements infringe on their freedoms. Other would-be members of the audience will just decide it’s a hassle they can’t be bothered by — they’ll go back when things are “normal.”

We encourage those in the latter group to think again. Arts organizations, entertainment businesses, concert venues and all of those amenities that are vital to our quality of life but optional during a lockdown need us right now. Or they might not be there when things get “back to normal.”

They were among the entities that, like bars and restaurants, lost an entire season of revenue and support. Now that they are reopened, even with restrictions, the shows must go on if they are to remain fixtures on the Central Minnesota scene for the future.

Please consider taking the extra steps requested by these local arts organizations as well as any made by the orchards, Christmas tree farms, zoos, breweries, bars, restaurants, gyms and studios we all enjoy.

Please consider putting on the mask or getting tested or vaccinated so you can see a show, go out for dinner and a movie, hear the concert, take the kids to the pumpkin patch.

The hard-core deniers will not comply and thus can’t help support these local treasures right now. The true believers already have taken the necessary steps. So it’s the people in the middle of this debate who need to hear this call: Get the shot, or get the tests, and then get back out there, mask in place when recommended by the business or venue and with a healthy distance from one another.

A hassle? Maybe. But worth it so that the lifeblood of these organizations — your financial support — can continue to flow.

Which bring us to one more option for people who won’t be vaccinated, tested or masked but who want to support small businesses and civic and arts groups: donations in lieu of your ticket purchases or the spending you would do in “normal” times probably wouldn’t be unwelcome.

That strategy keeps your convictions in place, respects the organization’s efforts to support safety, and keeps them around for all of us when things go “back to normal.”

— St. Cloud Times, Oct. 1

About Editorial Roundup

Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

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